Kowloon is a major part of Hong Kong's urban area. There, you can admire the breathtaking Victoria Harbour scenery, shop on some of the busiest avenues in the world, and find some places you have seen before in movies and dramas.
Follow me as we explore 10 of the top experiences in Kowloon and learn what you can expect if you visit.
1. Shopping in Tsim Sha Tsui
Tsim Sha Tsui is one of the most bustling shopping areas in the world, with stores and malls selling popular brand-name goods from all over the world.
First visit Harbour City on Canton Road. This is one of the largest shopping malls in Hong Kong, covering an area of over 2 million square feet and gathering together over 700 stores, 50 restaurants and 2 theaters.
Or walk along Nathan Road, an avenue filled with popular brand-name stores and palatial malls. Some nearby streets, like Salisbury Road, are also good for shopping.
Investigate more shopping areas in Hong Kong.
2. Visit Victoria Harbour in the Avenue of Stars
The Avenue of Stars is at the south of Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon. It is one of the best places for observing the scenery of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline. It's a good place to rest after shopping.
If you like Hong Kong movies, be sure to find here the palm-print tablets of famous Hong Kong movie stars and directors like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and John Woo.
For a pleasant and romantic experience, walk along the avenue with the one you love, watching the sun sink slowly beneath the horizon and the city being lit again by neon lights.
3. Ride on the Star Ferry
The Star Ferry is a popular boat ride enjoyed by visitors and local people alike for over 100 years. The ferry takes you from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island, and vice versa. It takes you out of the busy streets for a while and provides relaxing views of Victoria Harbour.
If you have more free time, you are recommended to try the Star Ferry's scenic tour. The boat departs from Tsim Sha Tsui Pier, sails around Victoria Harbour for an hour and then returns. It provides a good opportunity to enjoy the harbor scenery and the skyline.
Find out why the Star Ferry is so popular and how to enjoy it to the full.
4. Enjoy Tasty Food in Ashley Road
Anywhere in Kowloon, you can easily find a restaurant within ten minutes' walk. If you like sweet and refreshing delicacies, Kowloon may be just the palate-paradise for you.
Ashley Road near Nathan Road is a gourmet's delight. Here you can try local dim sum – different kinds of bite-sized food – as well as dishes from Japan, Korea, India or Thailand. If Asian food is not for you, you'll probably also be able to find some dishes from your home country.
5. Celebrate Tin Hau's Birthday in a Tin Hau Temple
The 23rd day of the third lunar month (April 27, 2019 or April 15, 2020) is the birthday of Tim Hau, the goddess of marine protection worshiped by Hong Kong fishermen. Although fishing is no longer as common as it used to be, the celebration is still convened every year.
There are about 70 Tin Hau Temples in Hong Kong. The one in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon, is one of the largest. In addition to being able to enjoy the celebration, the historical buildings, bells and tablets draw you closer to local people's lives and worship.
Find more places to discover Hong Kong history.
6. Walk Around Temple Street
After visiting the Tin Hau Temple in Yau Ma Tei, don't forget to visit Temple Street nearby. Unlike the luxury shopping streets in Tsim Sha Tsui, Temple Street is regarded as a night club for Hong Kong citizens. Various interesting goods and tasty foods are sold there at reasonable prices.
Shops and stalls open at nightfall and sell goods like men's clothes, handicrafts, tea sets, jade jewelry or cheap electronics. Since many of the goods are preferred by males, Temple Street is also called "men's street".
Temple Street is also a famous filming site. If you like Hong Kong movies, do visit here to find some impressive movie-settings, or to taste some dishes enjoyed by the film-characters.
7. Explore "Women's Street" in Mong Kok
Mong Kok is another popular shopping street, with large malls, specialist shops and open-air stalls all in the same place. From the most expensive jewelry to the cheapest objects, you can find everything you want, depending on your budget.
Mong Kok has a "women's street", analogous to the "men's street" in Yau Ma Tei, where you can find women's clothing, cosmetics, decorations and household supplies.
Some other streets, like "sneaker street", "golden fish street" and "flower street", are all worth a visit. They are interesting just to walk around, even if you don't buy anything.
8. Make a Wish in Wong Tai Sin Temple
Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of the most famous Taoist temples in Hong Kong. It was built in honor of Wong Tai Sin, a kind doctor who saved the lives of many people.
Local people believe that if they make a wish to Wong Tai Sin, it will soon come true. You are welcome to pick up some free joss-sticks in the temple and make a wish, just like the local people.
Every noon-time, students of Wong Tai Sin gather in the main hall for sacrificial activities. The temple is the only place in Hong Kong where you can host Taoist weddings. If you are lucky enough, you will have an opportunity to see a whole Taoist wedding ceremony.
9. See Movie Settings at Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market
Yau Ma Tei Wholesale Fruit Market was first established in 1913. It still looks the way it used to. Decades ago, it was the largest wholesale fruit market in Hong Kong and Kowloon.
The market site is famous among Hong Kong movie fans because it used to be a stomping ground for Hong Kong mafia, and many mafia-themed movies were filmed here.
Today, there are no more mafia here, but fading signboards, old buildings, rusted door frames and fragrant fruit take people back in their imaginations to some classic Hong Kong movies.
10. Visit Art Studios in Cattle Depot Artist Village
The Cattle Depot Artist Village is located at No. 63 Ma Tau Kok Road, Kowloon. It is not a famous attraction, for many Hong Kong people hardly know the place.
It used to be a real cattle depot, established in 1908. Closed in 1999, the red brick building was rented to some young artists, and gradually became an artists' village, with over 20 artistic teams.
Unless there are performances or shows, the village is quiet and peaceful. You may walk around the art studios and try communicating with local artists. The old buildings provide some good backgrounds for photographs.
Visit Kowloon with Us
There are many more things to do in Kowloon. Visiting with a local guide is a good option. Your guide can help you choose between various authentic experiences and help you to bargain when you are buying something.